Grapefruit quality depends mainly on the climate and rootstock. In our points of origin, the fruit is sweeter, juicier and less bitter as it is grown in semi-tropical summer rainfall regions. In the cooler, drier Mediterranean climates, there is a tendency for the fruit to have a thicker rind, lower sugar and high acid levels in the juice, and some bitterness.

Grapefruit varieties may be divided into two groups. The first comprises white or common grapefruit varieties of which only Marsh is of any significance. The second are the pigmented varieties that are increasingly popular with consumers. Of these varieties, San Miguel produces Ruby Red and Star Ruby.

Marsh

Marsh variety is productive, vigorous in growth and spreading in tree shape. Fruit size is large to very large, with smooth rinds that become pale yellow at maturity. Its shape is round to flat, depending on climate. Internal flesh color is off white to ivory, with very good flavor. It is not susceptible to any pests or diseases and does not have any harvest requirements. 

Star Ruby

The Star Ruby variety makes up a substantial part of the South African grapefruit industry. Fruit size is large, ranging from 82 to 98 mm. Its shape is round to flat, depending on climate. Rind is smooth with a fairly uniform color, developing a deep red blush at maturity. Internal flesh color is red, it has very few seeds and flavor is very sweet. Star Ruby matures from mid-April to mid-May in suitable areas. The fruit maintains its quality on the tree until mid-June.

Ruby Red

This variety has good internal quality as well as good rind pigmentation. It is a pink grapefruit that can be recognized externally without having to be cut open. Except for the color, Ruby is virtually identical to Marsh in most fruit characteristics. Additionally, it usually has very few seeds. Ruby Red is the most widely grown pigmented variety worldwide and is likely to remain so for some considerable time due to its increasing demand.

Production schedule